- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 6, 2019

A group of leading conservative and free-market groups launched Thursday the Coalition Against Socialized Medicine, an effort aimed at countering the growing Democratic calls for “Medicare for all.”

The coalition’s members include the American Conservative Union, American Commitment, Citizens Against Government Waste, the Club for Growth, the Committee to Unleash Prosperity, FreedomWorks, Heritage Action for America and the National Taxpayers Union.

“Under the guise of innocuous-sounding and misleading names like ‘Medicare for All,’ liberals are pursuing radical proposals that would completely abolish private health insurance plans – which currently cover over 250 million Americans – in an effort to impose socialized medicine schemes in the United States,” said the coalition in a statement.

Candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination championing single-payer and “Medicare for all” proposals include Sen. Bernie Sanders, former San Antonio mayor Julian Castro, and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.

In April, Mr. Sanders introduced the Medicare for All Act of 2019, which has been cosponsored by Sens. Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren.

The measure would replace private insurance except for procedures not covered, such as cosmetic surgery. The free-market Mercatus Center at George Mason University pegged the cost over 10 years at $32 trillion.

“The American people are increasingly clear. They want a health care system which guarantees health care to all Americans as a right,” said the Vermont senator in a statement.

The idea is popular among activists. Former Rep. John Delaney, another Democratic presidential contender, was booed on Sunday when he described “Medicare for all” as bad politics and policy at the California Democratic Convention.

“John Delaney, thank you but please sashay away,” tweeted Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, New York Democrat.

ACU chairman Matt Schlapp such “disastrous policies” would “subject all American patients to the types of ineffective socialized medicine systems that have plagued European and socialist countries for decades.”

“It is critical to America’s patients, taxpayers, and economy that Members of Congress stand up to prevent the further government takeover of America’s healthcare markets and join us in our efforts to defeat these radical proposals put forth by liberal Democrats,” he said.

The coalition said on its website that it supports “market-oriented healthcare solutions,” preserving the doctor-patient relationship, and a “competitive, transparent and affordable private insurance market for patients and families.”

• Valerie Richardson can be reached at vrichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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